As you might well know by now, we are reviewing a Boss pedal every day for a month in March, and today, on day 17, it's the turn of the Boss FZ-5 Fuzz pedal, with Roland's COSM technology, modelling three famous fuzz circuits - the Fuzz Face, the Maestro, and the Octavia.
We're looking at 30 pedals this month, and then on the final day of March, we'll be doing a round up of our favourites. The idea being that you can quickly watch our bitesize reviews and make a quick decision on whether you like what you hear for each of Boss' compact pedals.
Classic fuzz is a thing of pure beauty, and to try and model this with digital technology couldn't have been an easy job for the boffins at Boss (Bossiffins?).
Rich's verdict - "Anyone who has been following my reviews over the last few years will probably know that I'm a big fan of fuzz. I have four fuzz pedals on my rig at the moment, and they always get used. Each fuzz pedal I own is (an analog) replication of a classic fuzz circuit, and I've never used a digital replication of classic fuzz.
"I think the guys and girls at Boss have done a good job though, I've heard the FZ-5 in action before, but never played through it myself. They've done a good job of creating the feel of a classic fuzz pedal. I've heard lots of people say they don't like fuzz because it sounds to synthetic and it doesn't react to your playing. I disagree with this, I think that fuzz invites you to interact with it, it should breathe and compress and in my mind, it's a beautifully organic thing.
"The Boss FZ-5 definitely has this feel. And in terms of replicating the Fuzz Face, Maestro, and Octavia circuits, it does a good job. It's never going to sound 100% identical, because digital circuits just don't work in the same way as analog ones. It doesn't sound quite as evil as analog fuzz, but on the right setting, it does a good job of replicating that gnarly mid-range. If you're a fuzz purist, you probably have no need for this pedal, if you just use fuzz every now and again, and want a few tonal options, this is a good purchase."
RRP - £110
More info - Boss FZ-5 info page